You organise a departmental barbecue on the lawn of your company in an effort to reel your colleagues into the meeting. While your co-workers stuff themselves with grilled meats and other fixings, you secure the confidence of your worst co-workers. However, you are not quite sure your meeting was effective because your colleagues kept nodding off while suffering from the condition of trying to work after eating too much.
Tired of the stale office meetings, you organise the affair in an attempt to capture your audience’s attention. While your colleagues appreciate free food, they can hardly pay attention due to food-induced exhaustion. You do not have to turn your meetings into some form of entertainment for them to be effective, however.
Let’s take a look at some things you should consider to get the most from your next business meeting.
Places, Places, Please
While sitting out in the balmy Australian sunshine might feel good, it really is a recipe for putting your colleagues to sleep. Instead, opt for meeting space that is both comfortable and functional. Your meeting space should come with all of the office accoutrements that help run a successful meeting.
Meeting, conference, and boardrooms all come fitted out with the latest furnishings, which include appropriate seats and tables, smart computers and stations, and access to the internet. Peruse Servcorp’s Australia site at http://www.servcorp.com.au/en/meeting-rooms/ to see the various amenities that should come with a room used for the typical business meeting. By choosing an appropriate space, you set the stage for a successful meeting.
Setting The Stage
Prepare your attendees for the meeting by sending around a draft agenda. Let your team review this plan and make additions as needed. To avoid unnecessary trips to the copier, send a copy of your agenda to meeting participants just before the meeting.
In this way, your agenda contains a detailed plan of meeting topics. Creating an agenda is also one way to avoid tangential conversations that can monopolise a productive meeting. Also, the agenda provides your meeting with a purpose.
Timing Is Everything
When putting your agenda together, keep in mind how much time each topic should take. In this way, you can more effectively rein in conversations, and even better for time saving’s sake, you can choose to table all questions until the end of the meeting to avoid spending too much time on one topic. Another time-saving strategy includes saving a few minutes before and after the meeting to avoid having to repeat information for latecomers and to answer questions at the end, respectively.
Star Of The Show
As the host of the meeting, your job is to effectively impart information to attendees in a clear, concise manner. While your job is not to entertain your attendees, the meeting should hold some interest. One way is, to begin with, a few icebreakers. In this way, you get people involved and engaged in the meeting. Another strategy is to promote active engagement through cooperative activities, which break up the monotony of many business meetings.
Your Meeting Denouement
Closing a meeting is probably the easiest part of hosting one. Designate a few moments at the end for a question and answer session. In this way, those people who have questions can stick around for the Q&A session while others can leave early. A great consideration in holding meetings is understanding that your colleagues’ time is valuable, and by providing this option at the end of the meeting accomplishes this task.
Maximising An Effective Meeting
Meetings are a necessary evil of the business day, even in this day when meetings can be held in a number of online and offline formats. The right space, the right agenda, and the right speaker all go into hosting an effective meeting. However, you can get the most out of your meeting by providing structure to the overall event.